Agenda item

Section 33 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, Partnership Agreement between the Council and Cwm Taf Morgannwg NHS Trust


The Head of Adult Social Care presented a report, on the proposal for entering into a new revised Section 33 Agreement of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 with Cwm Taf Morgannwg NHS Trust, regarding the provision of integrated Mental Health Daytime Opportunities.


The Head of Adult Social Care explained that a Section 33 Agreement with ABMU Health Board for the provision of integrated community day opportunities had been in place since 1st October 2008. It had been revised and extended on a number of occasions since then and the current Section 33 Agreement commenced on 1st April 2017 and would expire on 31st March 2021.


The Head of Adult Social Care explained that the service had progressed considerably in the last 13 years and it was now necessary to update the Section 33 Agreement and ensure that the revised Agreement reflected the changes that had taken place and adequately reflected the current situation including budget and staffing details. She explained that the service offered responsive and accessible person-centred support, promoting the recovery of a person from an episode of mental ill health. The public could access the advice and guidance service without the need for referral and the service acted as a point of contact for mainstream community organisations and agencies requiring information and advice in support of individuals. This included local third sector organisations, employers and local colleges.


The Head of Adult Social Care outlined the position regarding referral rates and how the service had been delivered during the pandemic. The reduction in the number of GP referrals was significant early on but now numbers had more or less returned to the same as they were pre-covid. The service was now working on a recovery plan and on targeting support for specific areas of the population. They would be looking at providing counselling support such as bereavement counselling for young people and family relationship counselling as well as other areas. They would also be looking at wellbeing and resilience group work and courses and some social engagement and support and work around debt and finance support and that area.      


The Head of Adult Social Care explained that the revised Section 33 Agreement set out the arrangements under which the combined service would operate and be managed as detailed in the report. Should Cabinet approve entering into the revised Section 33 Agreement, it would run for a further four years, with the agreement expiring on 31st March 2025.   


The Cabinet Member - Social Services and Early Help said that she was very happy to move the report. There was a very valuable and successful partnership with the Health Board and they knew how effective this resource was for the county. The ARC service was very successful and helped a considerable number of people and would need to continue to help more people in the coming months as the community emerged from the pandemic. Mental health services had taken a hit and many people had been discouraged from visiting their GP because they could put it aside and not bother people with it. She assured everyone that mental health issues were taken very seriously and individuals who experienced these, should try not to be afraid and ask for help.


The Cabinet Member - Social Services and Early Help asked how the authority would be picking up on the people reticent to come forward and how we would be working with GP’s in cluster groups to encourage everyone who needed support to come forward.  The Head of Adult Social Care replied that in terms of the recovery plan which they had been working on with health colleagues, part of it was looking at referrals and where they came from and that could be from organisations and geographical areas. They could then see areas that were not being targeted and do some work within those areas. This was currently being mapped out and part of a plan for the next 12 months. They had direct access into various groups so they could work on areas that needed support or where the service needed to be enhanced


The Leader replied that this was very encouraging to hear and they would keep an eye on the demand for services and if necessary they could be scaled up to meet any extra demand.


The Cabinet Member - Communities said that it was recognised that now more than ever, a support mechanism was needed for those in society finding it difficult to cope especially with the covid-19 restrictions placed on society. People were feeling anxious, not coping, loneliness and those factors alone would help to increase levels of those considering suicide. This would be an extra burden because people needed these services before the pandemic came along. The pandemic would highlight the need because people realised the incredible strain society was under. He welcomed the report and was particularly happy that no referral was required and this removed the stigma which could deter those looking for help. He thanked the officers for their hard work and the ARC service which had and would continue to develop and evolve.


The Leader reminded people of the message that if they were sad, confused or angry they didn’t have to deal with it alone. He asked that they get in touch. In a crisis, help was available and would continue to be available 24/7. He took the opportunity to thank the staff who had worked throughout the pandemic. They had never been so busy and were helping people with the most difficult set of circumstances and he was grateful for what they were doing for people in the community.


RESOLVED            That Cabinet approved the proposal to enter into a renewal of the Section 33 Agreement under the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board regarding the provision of integrated mental health daytime opportunities.

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